News came down early Tuesday morning that the Buffalo Bills are all set to release Mario Williams from his contract. The defensive end/outside linebacker has 10 years in the league and has been very serviceable in his career. He is a beast of a man and has a relentless motor when rushing the QB.
In 2012 Williams left the Houston Texans after a productive six years and was signed by the Buffalo Bills. He signed a $100 million dollar contract in which almost $30 million dollars was guaranteed. The Bills got some great years from Williams but the 2015 year was a year Williams would like to forget.
After recording 38 sacks in his first three years with the Bills, Williams only recorded five sacks last season. He played and started in 15 games but just could not get comfortable. A series of nagging injuries limited his production. His numbers slipped, but you would have to think he still has something left in him. He is in great shape and could provide veteran leadership to the right team.
The Chargers need a pass rusher. Someone to compliment Melvin Ingram and rotate with Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Emanuel. Williams has traditionally been much better in a 4-3 system opposed to a 3-4 system but the Chargers mix that up here and there during the game. He could be a fit, but would definitely need to take a pay cut.
Williams was scheduled to make $11.5 million in a base salary for the upcoming season and the deal could have reached $15.3 million in incentives. The Chargers have no intention of paying him anywhere near that annually and he would most likely need to play for somewhere around half that per season. The Chargers have room for Williams and his salary, but he would only be signed if the deal is under the Chargers terms.
The former overall #1 pick has had an up and down career. At times he can be a dominant force but then there are games in which he is nearly invisible. I guess that is the life of a pass rusher. If you get the sack everyone knows your name, but if a great blocker shuts you down, you are a nobody. Still with his athleticism Williams should still be able to pursue ball carriers and make more plays down field.
In his 10 year career he has recorded 96 sacks and 386 tackles. As a Bills defensive player, Williams proved to be very durable. He missed one game last season and that was the first game he did not start in four seasons. That is a great thing about Williams. He will most likely be in there every game for you. In the correct defensive scheme, you would have to imagine he can still be very productive.
Is the Chargers system a good fit for him? Not really. The Chargers run a 3-4 system traditionally (all though they do change it up now and then) and like I stated Williams is much better in a 4-3 system. He is a speed rusher and does not do well with multiple blockers attacking him. Having that extra defensive lineman is definitely in the best interest of Williams. Still though, if the Chargers platooned him correctly, he could be a force on the outside during third and long situations.
Like anything in professional sports, it will come down to money. How much will the soon to be 31-year-old command and how much room will the Chargers have to address their need at defensive line? In reality the Chargers need interior lineman more than another pass rusher. However if Williams wants to join a veteran team with a chance at a Super Bowl run, then San Diego might be an excellent choice. The ball is in Tom Telesco’s court. We will see what he and Chargers management chooses to do.